The Bachelor of Science in Music Production & Recording Arts degree is designed for students who wish to study the intersection of music, technology, and liberal arts. This includes songwriting, composing music for film and video games, audio engineering, postproduction, music business, and performing in commercial music genres. The degree program prepares students for a wide variety of careers in the music industry, graduate studies in music technology, or related fields. Students work closely with experienced faculty who are established composers, recording engineers, producers, performing musicians, and music scholars. The curriculum creates a solid foundation in both musicianship and technology, with courses such as music theory, aural skills, applied instrument/voice lessons, performance ensembles, the physics of sound, introduction to music technology, critical listening, studio techniques, music business, and postproduction. Students then build upon these experiences by selecting a concentration that best suits their interests and career goals: (1) Recording Arts, emphasizing live sound production, audio engineering, mixing, etc.; and (2) Music Production, emphasizing songwriting, arranging, music composition, performance in commercial music genres, producing, etc.
Because of the nature of the discipline, the program actively engages students in activities in which knowledge is acquired by doing, by problem solving, by investigating and by applying. Students develop skills in critical thinking and critical listening. They engage with one another and work closely with faculty artists, engineers, and mentors in a variety of professional roles, including producer, recording engineer, mix engineer, musician, and business agent, experiencing all facets of the music production process while building a portfolio of representative projects showcasing skills in each area. Opportunities abound within the department to gain engineering, production, songwriting and performance experience working with various performing groups such as the Electric Ensemble (rock/pop), Techtronica (electronic dance/techno), élan (vocal jazz), Jazz Ensemble, and the Fire of the Carolinas (marching band), as well as classical ensembles such as Orchestra, Phoenix Winds (wind ensemble, Chorale, and Camerata. Students gain additional real-world experience and build relationships with professionals in the industry through internships at recording studios, mastering facilities, radio stations, theaters, church music ministries, record labels, live sound companies, music software design companies, and more.
The overall philosophy of the Music Production & Recording Arts degree program brings together the rich historical, aesthetic, and theoretical foundations of Classical music with the stylistic and technological implications of modern commercial music production and performance, preparing talented students to be competitive in the market place of the 21st Century, whether it be engaging in a music industry career after graduation or being placed in any of the nation’s top graduate programs in commercial music, music business and/or music technology.
The Department of Music is housed in the Center for the Arts, a 75,000-square-foot facility boasting numerous concert Steinway grand pianos; McCrary Theatre, a large, fully equipped theatre and concert hall; Yeager Recital Hall; and modular practice rooms and studios. Historic Whitley Auditorium houses a new Casavant pipe organ and a Steinway grand piano.
The studio features a Pro Tools HD|2 Accel system with an Avid D-Command ES 24 mixing console. The Avid Pro Tools HD system includes a 192 I/O and a 96 I/O for a total of 32 input channels and 24 analog outputs for monitoring and processing by outboard gear.
Preamps & Outboard Gear
The studio mic preamps include world-class models from Solid State Logic (SSL), Universal Audio, Vintech (built after the Neve 1073 design), the EMI Abbey Road replica Chandler TG2, as well as models more likely to be used by students and home studios such as PreSonus and ART.
The studio also features world-class compressors such as the UA 1176 and ADL 1500 which is a precise replica of the classic LA2A, but with two channels. We also have a Moog Voyager Rackmount Synth for creating great classic analog patches.
Our patchbay consists of two Switchcraft 96-25 TT patchbays for routing signal from the live room, isolation booth, and through any outboard gear and monitor routing.
The control room features a Genelec 5.1 monitoring system with optional monitoring on Mackie HR624 monitors or Behritone C50A's, replicas of the vintage C5 studio cubes. The room comfortably seats about 15 people, although the chairs can be stacked out of the way to use the space for tracking or rehearsal.
The live room is our primary recording space. It can comfortably hold a full pop/rock group including drums, bass, multiple guitars, multiple keyboards or synthesizers, lead vocals, plus background vocals at the same time. If more isolation is desired, there is an iso booth for tracking vocals, acoustic guitar, etc.
The iso booth is used for isolating guitar cabs, vocals, acoustic guitar, and so forth. It is connected to the control room and has a window and hearback communication system for both visual and audio communication with the engineer/producer.
The mic locker contains a wide array of condensor, dynamic, and ribbon mics ranging from common work-horseslike the Shure SM57 to premium mics such as the Neumann U87.
C 214 (2)
C 414 XLII (1)
C 1000 S (1)
Perception 120 (1)
AT 4050 (1)
PRO44 Boundary Mic (1)
Trion 7000 Ribbon (1)
Fat Head II Ribbon (2)
RTA-M Measurement Mic (1)
TLM 102 (1)
MD 421 II (4)
Beta 52a (1)
Beta 57A (1)
Beta 58A (13)
Beta 87A (1)
VP88 Stereo (1)
The department also has a fully equipped music technology lab featuring new 88-key semi-weighted keyboards and a sound isolation booth. The lab also houses 18 27" iMac digital audio workstations with a second 22-inch flat-panel monitor, full-size 88-key MIDI Controllers, M-Audio USB MobilePre preamp/audio interfaces and ShuttlePro. The stations run Pro Tools, Logic Express, Digital Performer, Sibelius, Garage Band, Studio One, Ableton Live, Auralia and other software tools relating to audio production, ear training and music theory.
The Music Production & Recording Arts program also partners with the School of Communications, giving students access to additional recording and production facilities for larger ensemble recordings.
With the significant growth and development in the Music Production & Recording Arts program at Elon, the university is planning to expand Music Department facilities. This includes the renovation of a facility on Elon's south campus to house a new live-performance sound lab, postproduction studio, rehearsal space, and other support spaces.
For photographs and more information, visit the Facilities portion of our website under "Prospective Students."
|MUS 010 Departmental Recital each semester|
|MUS 102 University Chorale|
|PHY 105 Physics of Sound|
|MUS 111 Materials of Music I|
|MUS 113 Aural Skills I|
|MUS 112 Materials of Music II|
|MUS 114 Aural Skills II|
|MUS 211 Materials of Music III|
|MUS 213 Aural Skills III|
|MUS 210 Introduction to Music Technology|
|MUS 215 Critical Listening|
|MUS 305 Studio Techniques I|
|MUS 309 Survey of Music Business|
|MUS 356 Music Postproduction|
|MUS 495 Music Technology Senior Seminar|
|2 Music Department Ensembles|
|4 semesters hours of applied instrument or voice lessons|
|Music History Elective from: World Music, Classic & Romantic, American Music, Music History for the Liberal Arts Student, or History of Jazz|
|SELECT A CONCENTRATION|
|(a) MUSIC PRODUCTION|
|MUS 212 Materials of Music IV|
|MUS 214 Aural Skills IV|
|MUS 216 Introduction to Composition & Orchestration|
|MUS 355 The Art of Songcraft|
|4 additional semester hours from: applied lessons, composition lessons, ensembles|
|(b) RECORDING ARTS|
|MUS 310 Live Sound Production & Recording|
|MUS 405 Studio Techniques II|
|MUS 481 Internship|
|ART or COM Elective from: Time Arts, Introduction to Digital Art, Cinema Production*, Editing the Moving Image* (*prerequisite required)|
For information on the University's General Studies requirements, visit the General Studies home page.
A degree in Music Production & Recording Arts can prepare you for a variety of careers that combine the art of music with the application of technology. Examples of careers include:
By combining a major in Music Production & Recording Arts with a minor or double-major in another field like Communications, Business, Computer Science, Arts Administration or graduate programs in Business Administration, Law, and Interactive Media, an even wider range of career possibilities are available, such as:
An important aspect of a musician's training is live performance. Elon's Music Department offers a variety of ensembles ranging from classical to commercial music. These performing groups give students the opportunity to put into practice their instrumental, vocal, and songwriting skills learned in private lessons and also learn other crucial aspects of music production. The ensembles include:
Elon University Orchestra
Phoenix Winds (wind ensemble)
Fire of the Carolinas (marching band)
Camerata (auditioned chamber choir)
élan (vocal jazz & a cappella)
Elon Music Ambassadors (eclectic styles)
World Percussion Ensemble
String Chamber Ensembles
The Department of Music faculty combine a passion for teaching with a vast range of composing, performing, teaching, production, and audio engineering experience. Below are some of the faculty and staff members that work most closely with majors in the Music Production & Recording Arts program.
TODD COLEMAN is the Coordinator of Music Production & Recording Arts at Elon University. He is a composer and bass player (contra bass and bass guitar). His music has been performed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago and university ensembles throughout the United States, with commissions for orchestra, wind ensemble, chamber music and electronic music. He earned his M.M. and D.M.A. in composition at the Eastman School of Music studying with Joseph Schwantner, Christopher Rouse and Augusta Read Thomas. Much of Coleman’s creative work blurs the boundaries between artistic disciplines, exploiting the intersection of technology and the arts. He is currently serving a five-year term on the Board of Advisors for the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.
CLAY STEVENSON is a songwriter, composer, audio engineer, and producer specializing in pop, pop/rock, and electronic music. His music has gained notoriety in feature films including Escapee (Voltage Pictures) and Standing Ovation (Kenilworth Film Productions). Additionally, while in Los Angeles, Stevenson worked for a number of years in commercial music, extensively with Vision Film and Television Productions composing and designing sound for commercials and corporate videos. Under the producer name daade, he has collaborated with such artists as DACAV5, El Prezidino, TRev, M:O.R., NPA, and T3. As daade, Stevenson also presented music in the iStandard Producer's Showcase at the ASCAP Expo. Currently, he is writing and composing for Cobel Music and two music production libraries, K.A.P. Music and NOMA Music. Stevenson has recently designed an innovative course in the study and production of musical mashups. The course encourages creative art expression through the use of music software to edit and manipulate existing music.
RICK EARL (live sound, technical director for cultural programs) worked as a live sound engineer for many national touring acts during the 1980's and 90's mixing monitors and front of house. Rick joined the Elon University staff in 2006 as Technical Director of Cultural & Special Programs. He works closely as a mentor with Music Production & Recording Arts majors interested in audio engineering and live sound production, sharing his years of experience one-on-one and in small group settings, including supervising live sound student work-study staff.
TONY SAWYER is Director of Bands at Elon University. In 1993, Mr. Sawyer received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Kennesaw State University and in 1995 he earned the Master of Music degree in Percussion Performance from Northern Arizona University. He has performed in Arizona with the Flagstaff Symphony and Flagstaff Festival of the Arts Orchestra, in Georgia with the Macon Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Cobb Symphony, Rialto Orchestra, the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra, and in North Carolina with the Elon Chamber Orchestra and the Durham Choral Society. Mr. Sawyer was a member of the Spirit of Atlanta Drum and Bugle Corps where he was a bass line member (1981) and a member of the snare line (1982-1985). He also served as the front ensemble (pit) arranger and instructor for the Southwind Drum and Bugle Corps in 1993.
STEPHEN FUTRELL (choral, trumpet, arranging) has appeared throughout the United States and Europe as a vocalist, trumpeter, writer, arranger, producer and on-screen talent. His experience includes being a featured vocalist at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, as well as serving as a music producer for DreamWorks Animation SKG. He also recently discovered, edited and had published three choral works by Anna Amalia von Sachsen. Dr. Futrell is the Director of Choral Activities at Elon and conducts the department's a cappella vocal jazz/pop ensemble élan.